Elon Musk is well known for trying to disrupt old industries. He builds spacefaring rockets in-house and makes them reusable, dramatically lowering the cost to leave Earth. He showed electric vehicles can be made and sold in large quantities, because if they’re fun to drive, people will want to buy them. But when the question of batteries was raised on a Tesla earnings call in the summer of 2017, Musk asked for help: “Can someone please come up with a battery breakthrough? We’d love it.” Musk was being a little facetious — he and Tesla CTO JB Straubel had just been asked about then-recent news that Toyota was reportedly in the “production engineering phase” of an electric car powered by a still relatively unproven technology: solid-state batteries. Calling it the “battery breakthrough du jour,” Musk quipped that any company working on solid-state tech should send Tesla samples, or at least have their claims verified by an independent lab. “Otherwise, STF[U],” he said. At least one other EV startup CEO claims he is close to that breakthrough, though: Henrik Fisker, the famed automotive designer behind Fisker Automotive, the flashy hybrid sports car startup that arrived on the startup scene in the mid aughts and wound up bankrupt just a few years later. Fisker recently started another eponymous car company — this time called Fisker, Inc. — that is focused on all-electric vehicles. And while he flirted with using LG’s automotive lithium-ion batteries to power his forthcoming electric supercar, dubbed “Emotion,” Fisker… [Read full story]
The Verge is an ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience.
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